Monday, 31 May 2010

MY YOGA EXPERIENCE - 1ST SERIES

My yoga path started 2 years ago.  The initial one and a half years I attended classes irregularly due to my many travels. It was the beginning of this year, Jan 2010, that I finally decided to have private yoga sessions on a one-to-one basis at least thrice a week.  These private lessons are good in the way that they are taylored to fit my life experiences and my personal yoga instructor's approach to teaching, allows me to develop a practice that is relevant to my body.

I believe in yoga and its wonderful benefits. The testimonies of self realisation and seeing the physical transformation of friends who are serious yogis have inspired me to learn about, practise and understand more the art of yoga. I must say that yoga did help to reduce my body aches, stress and tensions, increases my awareness, calms my mind and liberate my pains and miseries.

As I practise and makes progress I feel my flexibility, my arms and legs strength increasing.  Some days I feel supple and other days as stiff as a stick. I have been advised to choose my poses or sequence with sensibility to my needs and abilities.

Is yoga an art?
Yoga is not merely an ancient science which leads to healthy body, peaceful mind, joyous heart and liberated soul.  It is an art and I like to relate it to  the art of sculpture. My body is the support - the stone, the marble, the clay, the wood etc... and I the sculptor who passionately and joyfully, slowly and steadily, sculpts and transform the support/body through the various asanas to a beautiful toned body, to realisation and happiness, to a positive attitude towards life and to an overall wellbeing both physical and mental.  Sounds beautiful yes? 

So I decided to share the first blog post on my yoga experience via this art blog while the rest will be in my holistic blog ( in the making  !!)

Recently I was flattered indeed to be offered a suggestion by my instructor that some of  my poses can be photographed not only for my blog but more importantly to review the achievements I have perfected to a certain extent ( quite a good standard that was what she told me, I guess only an A grade no distinction, LOL
These pics were taken during my lessons by Janet ...

TREE POSE (VRKSASANA)
This is a standing pose that improves balance. It is indeed challenging to stand on one leg. Helps to stretch inner thighs, groins, shoulders and strengthens thighs and calves.
TRIANGLE POSE (TRIKONASANA)
This pose helps to tone, slim and shape the waist and legs.  It also builds strength and flexibility in the legs.
HALF MOON
Very often I do use props like cushions, blocks, straps, chairs, blankets  etc... to practise some movements.
DOWNWARD FACING DOG
This is an exhilarating posture that firms, tones and strengthens the arms, shoulders, spine and abdominal areas. It relieves fatique, stimulates the flow of vital energy and slows the heartbeat.
I do this pose daily as it takes away the stiffness in my ankles, heels, the back of the legs and the shoulders.  If you do not have the time, do this pose and its good enough, better than not doing at all.
FORWARD EXTENSION LEGS WIDE APART
This posture will assist to stretch the legs and to expand, extend and rejuvenate.  I bend  at my hips, reach forward and relax downwards with head towards the floor.  Breathing is important and the stretch is at the back of both legs.
I do this pose almost daily as it increases the flow of blood to the brain thus relieving my headaches,
anxiety, irritability and my sleepness nights .  It also firms the back of legs and thighs.  So ladies take note, if you still wanna go for short skirts/shorts do this pose. LOL.
BRIDGE POSE
This asana gives youthful body ' the fountain of youth'.  It is beneficial for spine, improves flexibility and strength.  Relieves tension in the shoulders and lower back and it opens the chest.
SHOULDER STAND
Being a beginner, the best way to do this pose safely is to practise supported shoulder stand initially. This posture improves the circulation of blood and stretches the shoulders, tones and strengthens the buttocks, thighs and back of legs. It also strengthens the spine and can help to prevent varicose veins.  These 2 pictures are for behind the scene to review my progress.  I certainly need to work harder to strengthen my back to lift my body upright for the perfect shoulder stand.
During the past 3 to 4 months, the emphasis was planned on my posture alignment and stability and building up my strength and suppleness. It certainly entailed lots of effort and willpower to get my asanas right. For instance my downward dog pose is an inverted 'V' now but not before. Though I have mastered some of the postures fairly well but there is still a need to do over and over again to perfect them and practise with ease. Nowadays I make it a point to practise daily, 20 mins in the morning and in the evening before bed  5 to 10 mins, only light stretches like the forward bend to ease tensions.

My ladies, please do not worry how we look in our yoga gears or how unfit we are , we just have to roll down our mats and get moving.  And never rushed, better to do less and practise with grace and ease.

A word of thanks to Janet my personal instructor for her effort, dedication and patience.


Namaste!

YOGA  - THE SYMPHONY OF LIFE

2 comments:

P-Tong said...

Ya ,if yoga is the symphony , life is a song , play on.

Toh Ee said...

Well said, yoga is part of my life now! Thanks for visiting!